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BlackSeriesUS

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Posted: 04/06/22 05:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have met several camp hosts in all of my years of camping. I always try to be respectful of them and the campsite rules. I have befriended most of them during my stays and often enjoy conversations with them while they are making their rounds. Most of them are pleasant, while some have not been.I have heard some real horror stories that have made them leave a campground vowing to never return again. For those of you who have either hosted, or have had a conversation with a host, what is a story that makes you, or them, want to return to that location year after year?

HappyKayakers

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Posted: 04/07/22 05:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I haven't found one yet that I would return to every year. Some of the things that make me NOT want to return. Owners/managers that value bookings too much, e.g. a tenter who used a chainsaw to cut their morning firewood from a live tree and was allowed to stay. Expectations of volunteering extra hours or being on call that were never mentioned prior to arrival.


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TexasShadow

Spring Branch, TX USA

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Posted: 04/07/22 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

when we first began traveling with our MH, we camp hosted at a state park in NE and found it very interesting and fun and so we returned to the same park for several years, hosting for a month at the end of their season.
We had one season with minor people problems like college boys chasing college girls, and sneaky locals coming in without paying to use shower facilities. No problem for us...we notified the office.
The last year, there was a forest fire and we had to evacuate the park in the middle of the night, but the nearby walmart let most of us stay in their parking lot for a few days as we waited to see if we were going to be allowed to camp again or not...and another state park 20 miles away offered to let us use a spare host site, so we moved over there until our "season" was done.
So all in all, we enjoyed our stint of camp hosting at Chadron State Park.
We didn't do it anymore, mostly because it was, and is, hard to find a park or camp that doesn't expect you to stay the whole season.... several months.


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bwodom

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Posted: 04/07/22 11:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Let me preface this with one clarification: We are retired; we are volunteers. Those who work camp for pay will have an entirely different take on this job. That said, we never had a gig we hated. But camp hosting was the least favorite job. Why?

First, I like the definitive hours of VC or retail, similar to my "real" job before retirement. Camp hosting is very variable. There can have a lot of down time during slower times, but the host must still must be available as needed from sunup to lights out. On busy weekends, 10-hour days are not unusual in large parks.

Second, the cleanup task used to be okay, but that was before the spike in camping and Covid (which requires more sanitizing = more time spent, longer hours).

Also, too many campers nowadays are used to having maid service, I guess. Fewer seem to understand the "pack in, pack out" or "leave it cleaner than you found it" motto of a good camper.

Third, rules are not well enforced Fewer enforcement staff; more entitled campers who don't have time to read a few simple sentences. And, we are really tired of campers pulling into the campground 4-5 hours BEFORE check-in time (we have a LOT of sites to clean in those few hours). So, if the fire pit is dirty or there is a pile of poop on the site...feel free to help us out.

We love seeing children enjoy themselves, but we are not babysitters. We love the sound of families having fun, but not loud partying into the night. We enjoy talking with visitors who drop by, but do not appreciate being the complaint department for those who don't bother to read the rules provided to them. Camp hosts are supposed to provide customer service -- not be referees and certainly not to be rangers (enforcement). Too many campers want to shoot the messenger!

Fourth: Expectations of other camp hosts. We hear more grumbling, more complaining about the job than ever before. Much of that is a result of Items 1-3. But a lot is from unrealistic expectations. We have heard more hosts tell us "not what I expected," and more rangers tell us "too many looking for a free site without understanding the work-in-exchange principle." Camp hosting is NOT a free ride; public parks have limited budgets. For those who need to be paid and want to complain about the low wages: pay for your site and go outside the gate -- there are help wanted signs everywhere!

And the final reason is just a personal one. We camped for the solitude, the get-away, the communing with nature and, yes, meeting and helping others who shared that motivation. We see a change in the culture of the camping community. Not necessarily a bad thing, just different from what we seek.

We still travel, and take short VC or retail gigs, but no more camp hosting or season-long gigs. There are plenty to fill our shoes. And we will try hard to treat them with respect and gratitude.

BlackSeriesUS

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Posted: 04/07/22 01:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bwodom wrote:

Let me preface this with one clarification: We are retired; we are volunteers. Those who work camp for pay will have an entirely different take on this job. That said, we never had a gig we hated. But camp hosting was the least favorite job. Why?

First, I like the definitive hours of VC or retail, similar to my "real" job before retirement. Camp hosting is very variable. There can have a lot of down time during slower times, but the host must still must be available as needed from sunup to lights out. On busy weekends, 10-hour days are not unusual in large parks.

Second, the cleanup task used to be okay, but that was before the spike in camping and Covid (which requires more sanitizing = more time spent, longer hours).

Also, too many campers nowadays are used to having maid service, I guess. Fewer seem to understand the "pack in, pack out" or "leave it cleaner than you found it" motto of a good camper.

Third, rules are not well enforced Fewer enforcement staff; more entitled campers who don't have time to read a few simple sentences. And, we are really tired of campers pulling into the campground 4-5 hours BEFORE check-in time (we have a LOT of sites to clean in those few hours). So, if the fire pit is dirty or there is a pile of poop on the site...feel free to help us out.

We love seeing children enjoy themselves, but we are not babysitters. We love the sound of families having fun, but not loud partying into the night. We enjoy talking with visitors who drop by, but do not appreciate being the complaint department for those who don't bother to read the rules provided to them. Camp hosts are supposed to provide customer service -- not be referees and certainly not to be rangers (enforcement). Too many campers want to shoot the messenger!

Fourth: Expectations of other camp hosts. We hear more grumbling, more complaining about the job than ever before. Much of that is a result of Items 1-3. But a lot is from unrealistic expectations. We have heard more hosts tell us "not what I expected," and more rangers tell us "too many looking for a free site without understanding the work-in-exchange principle." Camp hosting is NOT a free ride; public parks have limited budgets. For those who need to be paid and want to complain about the low wages: pay for your site and go outside the gate -- there are help wanted signs everywhere!

And the final reason is just a personal one. We camped for the solitude, the get-away, the communing with nature and, yes, meeting and helping others who shared that motivation. We see a change in the culture of the camping community. Not necessarily a bad thing, just different from what we seek.

We still travel, and take short VC or retail gigs, but no more camp hosting or season-long gigs. There are plenty to fill our shoes. And we will try hard to treat them with respect and gratitude.



Yeah, I can imagine it not being the easiest job. I have experienced several of the issues you mentioned whilst camping and we were at a loss for who to turn too. The unruly, drunken idiots, were not going to listen to the host if we got her, and we don't have cell reception to contact the ranger. There is certainly a lot of entitlement these days.

#1Flyboy

California

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Posted: 04/07/22 01:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

…. What made us quit Camphosting is the new generation of”SPECIAL & PRIVILAGED” that don’t care about anyone else, much less rules & restrictions! Plus people turning camping sites into garbage dumps & toilets into cesspools! It’s time to teach garbage disposal, sanitation, recycling in schools!

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